I left Appalachia's Country Music Hwy., (via Flatpick KY), for Rt. 66. It was Labor Day Weekend and I was going to Asbury Park, NJ, a town made famous by Bruce Springsteen and others. I was going to see Soozie Tyrell, of the E-Street band, along with 9 other bands play over the weekend. There were even knowledgeable whispers, before an inconvenient hurricane hit at a most critical moment that Springsteen might make one of his periodic appearances there that Saturday.
As burlesque bumps, grinds and laughs its way back in vogue, the art of its' golden eras, from Nouveau to the 50s, shimmies in alongside it. Montmarte had Lautrec, (or, perhaps more appropriately, his now lesser known but then more famous mistress, model and contemporary, (though not necessarily in that order), Suzanne Valdon.). The Neo-Burlesque world has Molly Crabapple, artist, subject and muse. Not surprisingly, she's made several 'Top New Yorkers' lists.
My Grandmother, Edith Bissette, grew up in a musical family in rural Virginia and North Carolina in the 30s and 40s as the changes Mike Seeger describes were taking place. She expands on what Mike describes above as she tells us not only what the advent of radio was like in the rural South, but what life and music were like as well.
Mike Seeger has helped bring the music of the rural South to popular attention. He did this as a folk musician in the 60s, bringing traditional musicians not yet well known to the forefront of popular attention and continues to do so through performances and archive work today. It is in part through his influence on his own generation that we have the folk-based songs of Bob Dylan and the Grateful Dead.
Grateful Web recently caught up with Ivan Neville while he was in Maryland. The phone interview had to be postponed for two hours while Neville enjoyed some crab cakes, reputed to be the best in the country. "I'm in Baltimore " he said. "You've got to have crab cakes, and I want to give them my full attention." While his meal was digesting, he spoke about his new band, Dumpstaphunk......
British-born keys player Jon Cleary now makes New Orleans his home where he has immersed himself in a social structure that lives and breathes music. He offers a unique perspective on the cultures that produced New Orleans popular music.
"In New Orleans, music is such an important part of the culture here," says Cleary. It is what first attracts people, not only to visit, but to live there as he has done. "They fall in love with it because they love the culture," he says. "Music is the soundtrack of your social life in New Orleans."
Jon Cleary's upbringing, amid a family of musicians in England, clearly put him on his lifepath. He was destined to be a musician. "There was never any question," he says. "That was all I really ever wanted to do."
Of all the great artists making the rounds this year, none have been more ambitious than Umphrey's McGee. They released the follow-up album to Safety in Numbers called The Bottom Half; a risky two-disc endeavor of leftover studio gems and insightful audio fragments. The band has also since embarked on a national tour that will take them all across the nation, including stops at such top festivals as